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Educators Hoped ESSA’s ‘5th Indicator’ Would Paint a Clearer Picture of Student Success. But With Some States Now Choosing Up to 11 Different Measures, Experts Worry Results Are a ‘Hodgepodge’

The 74 Million – Taylor Swaak

“Academic achievement has typically been the gold standard for tracking student gains and school progress. But policymakers hoped recent changes to federal education law would spur a more innovative approach. Under the 2015 Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), states submitted education plans last year to the U.S. Department of Education outlining at least five indicators. These indicators, when weighted and combined, should produce school scores that help states identify their lowest performers for improvement plans and designated federal funds.” (more)

With Nearly 8 Million Students Chronically Absent From School Each Year, 36 States Set Out to Tackle the Problem in New Federal Education Plans. Will It Make a Difference?

The 74 Million – Taylor Swaak

“So-called “chronic absenteeism” has festered into what the U.S. Department of Education has branded a national crisis. Nearly 8 million K-12 students missed 15 or more days of school in 2015-16 — a marked increase from the 6.8 million estimated in 2013-14, when the federal Office for Civil Rights began tracking the data. It’s not a short-term problem, either: Various research links chronic absences with poor academic performance, delayed graduation, and higher dropout rates.” (more)

This Week’s ESSA News: And Then There Were 6: A Look at How — and Why — 6 States Have Yet to Get Their ESSA Plans Approved

The 74 Million – Blair Mann

“The U.S. Department of Education has approved 44 state ESSA plans (plus those from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) so far. Which states remain in federal approval limbo? What are the problem with these plans? What have these states done — if anything — to update their ESSA plans to help earn the federal nod? Below, we take a look at these and other questions regarding the six remaining states: California, Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah.” (more)

Federal, state visions for improving schools collide in California

Ed Source – John Fensterwald

“During a presentation earlier this month on how to choose the roughly 300 lowest-performing schools that must get intensive help under federal law, a number struck some members of the State Board of Education like a brick from the sky: 3,003. That’s the total number of schools in the state — not 300 but nine or 10 times that many — that staff estimate would require at least some form of help based on the school selection criteria that the board was considering.” (more)

OPINION: What does the fusion of academic and social development look like in kindergarten?

The Hechinger Report – Vincent J. Costanza

“When states across the nation recently turned in accountability plans required under the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), they showed great variety in their plans for early learning. With much of the funding going directly to school districts, state and district partnerships will be crucial to ensuring that these plans address the real-life issues that school districts throughout the country are facing.”(more)

How Will America’s New Education Law Change Your School? 5 Experts Pick the Most Important Issue Parents Should Be Monitoring in States’ ESSA Plans

The 74 Million – Blair Mann

“Earlier this year, the Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners brought together more than 30 education experts — with state and national experience, Republicans and Democrats — to independently review the first 17 state ESSA plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.”(more)